I am not a woman who puts a lot of value in makeup. It is more of a nuisance to me than a necessity. That being said, makeup has its place. I would feel foolish walking into a big event without a few strokes of mascara and a dash of color. Because of this, I do try and keep the essentials around.
Of course one of these events popped up on the calendar and I was forced to try and gussy up a bit. I took inventory of my makeup supply and realized that my stockpile of various chapsticks probably would be inadequate for the task at hand. The only logical option was a quick run to the local drug store.
I consider myself an expert of the makeup clearance section. For 50% off, I can make anything work. I was sorting through the bargain bin when a young woman approached me. She introduced herself as the store’s “beauty specialist.”
Now as a makeup bargain bin enthusiast, I really was not sure what a “beauty specialist” was. She explained to me that she was here to answer all my questions and attend to all my makeup needs. Super.
Then she transitioned the conversation by saying, “Well, for a woman with your level of aging…” Shut the front door. My “level of aging” is that of a 33-year-old woman with 3 kids. This barely 18-year-old “beauty specialist” was talking to me as if I was one foot in the bingo hall.
She continued to ramble on about concealer and firming creams but I had mentally checked out. All I could think about was my “level of aging.” I looked in the poorly lit mirror trying to assess the damage.
Of course I have aged. I am a wife, a mommy, a nurse, and so many other things. All of these important aspects of my life have left a mark, including contributing to my “level of aging.” In that moment, I accepted that this was something I really have no control over. The dark circles show my sleepless nights with a teething baby, my smile lines show a lifetime of making the best of a situation, and my reddened complexion hints at a strong connection to my Russian ancestors. All of these things makeup (see what I did there?) who I have grown to be.
So back to my “beauty expert.” She had not lived enough of a life to have any understanding of how truly earned my aging is. I was able to simply smile, grab my clearance eyeliner, and give her the “thank you, but no thank you” line.
I’m not seeking to hide any part of me, especially my aging. I’ll stick with the clearance bin and my plethora of chapsticks.
This story originally appeared on Tired Not Dead